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Ciena makes Wave with purpose-built router for converged metro

Networking systems provider announces debut of what it calls industry-first platform architecture optimally designed for converged metro network

Claiming to offer scalability, operational simplicity and sustainability “with zero compromises”, networking tech provider Ciena has introduced WaveRouter, described as an industry-first platform architecture optimally designed for the increasingly important converged metro network.

As part of Ciena’s Coherent Routing strategy, WaveRouter supports the exponential growth of metro traffic driven by bandwidth-hungry services such as 5G, high-speed broadband, enterprise business services and the cloud. Unifying IP, optical and compute functionality in a single platform, WaveRouter’s scales from 6Tb/s to 192Tb/s addresses the needs of providers who are said to be dealing with unprecedented traffic demand.

Giving rise to a new, flexible hybrid architecture that combines traditional chassis and leaf-spine design, WaveRouter uses Ciena’s WaveLogic coherent optics and intelligent multi-layer control and automation to deliver what is claimed to be a high-performance, easy-to-operate and greener coherent routing offering.

The company said such capability will meet the vigorous demands of metro networks by bringing together the best of platform architecture, transport technologies, and software to eliminate trade-offs in space, power, cooling and scalability.

Other benefits of WaveRouter are said to include the ability to manage IP and optical network services in a single interface, with a manage, control and plan (MCP) multi-layer domain controller designed to reduce operating costs and drive optimal network performance and growth. The router is also said to deliver adaptable, high-power transport at the lowest cost per bit with pluggable coherent optics that provide dynamic capacity starting at 400Gb/s and scaling to 1.6Tbps.

Users can maximise upgradability with universal slots that accommodate both fabric and input/output interfaces, and achieve environmental and sustainability goals with flexible deployment in non-adjacent racks and rows, energy-efficient cooling and cabling, and protected, pay-as-you-grow power distribution.

Users can perform in-service fabric expansion with an extensible switch fabric that provides greater performance with, said Ciena, no operation degradation, allowing for more scalability, which it adds can take place without concession with elastic compute that enables resizing of computing capacity independently of routing functions.

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WaveRouter will be generally available in the third quarter of 2023. Assessing the launch and what it could bring to the networking industry, Sterling Perrin, senior principal analyst at Heavy Reading, noted that metro networks are ripe for modernisation, driven by requirements for sustainability, scale, reliability, cloud adaptability and lower costs.

“Survey data indicates many operators are seeking change in how they architect their metros,” he said. “Ciena’s WaveRouter, a coherent metro router, combines IP and optical coordination, open API-based automation, and a hardware building-block architecture that offers redundant power and cooling, along with the ability to independently scale up compute and scale out switching fabric. This is the type of innovative metro architecture that network operators are looking for.”

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